Joyce Banda not quitting frontline politics – report

Former Malawi president Joyce Banda will not quit politics as she will be leading People’s Party (PP) in rebuilding process for 2019 elections but has not indicated whether she will seek nomination to run for presidency again.

According to published report, Banda told PP top officials and legislators that she will continue leading the party.

During the run up to announcement of May 20 chaotic election results, Banda declared that she would no longer stand for re-election.

“When elections are to be held again, I will be stepping aside,” she said.

Joyce Banda: To lead PP until 2019
Joyce Banda: To lead PP until 2019

According to a report in the Nation on Sunday, PP’s acting secretary general Paul Maulidi said the former president, after her humiliating loss, has held some meetings with PP executive members and some of the party’s legislators at her home in Nkhata Bay where she relocated after vacating Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe

“He has met some of us and some of our MPs [Members of Parliament] and expressly told us her interest to continue leading the party,” Maulidi said as quoted by the paper.

Maulidi said Banda has encouraged the PP member “to work hard in rebuilding the party to enable us face the 2019 elections as a strong party.”

Dr. Boniface Dulani, a political scientist at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, told the paper that although Malawians rejected Banda’s leadership on May 20 , it does not stop her from running the party or considering contesting in 2019 polls.

“Leading the party and considering standing as a presidential candidate are two different things. She may run the party and decide not to contest.

“And losing an election may not necessarily mean she cannot do well if she decides to contest, it may depend on the performance of the current administration and presidential candidates that may come on the scene,” said Dulani.

Banda enjoyed huge goodwill when she came to power two years ago, but her popularity waned after she was forced to impose austerity measures, including a sharp devaluation, to stabilise the economy.

Her administration was hit by a $15m corruption scandal, dubbed Cashgate, after large amounts of cash were discovered in the car of a senior government official.

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